5 noviembre 2019

Take care of yourselves. Before it’s too late.

Behind the badge: Mo Bro Kevin Cain talks about why the police mentality around "toughening up" needs to go.
Real Stories | In the Barber Chair

My name is Kevin Cain, and I Movember for my father, Kevin “Big Daddy” Cain. My father was in the Suffolk County 1st Precinct Detective Squad for about 30 years, and the Police Department for 39. He loved his job, and was great at it. He was the definition of old-school detective: he took care of his teams to the very end.

I followed in his law enforcement footsteps—in 2005 I joined the New York City Police Department. In 2008, I joined Movember with a group of guys. Back then, I did it just to grow a silly moustache and raise some money for what seemed like a good cause. At the time, Movember didn’t affect me personally.

Then, in 2011, my father found out he had prostate cancer. He used words like “early,” “common,” and “treatable,” to soften the blow. All I could think was: the man I’ve looked up to all my life has cancer. It floored me.

The cancer was detected early. He went through a few different treatments. First, he was told it was under control. That it was going away. Then he went back for a follow-up—probably later than he was supposed to—and was told he had stage 4 prostate cancer. Eventually it spread throughout his body. He lost his battle on November 18th, 2018.

Kevin cain and his father 

My father didn’t talk about his health unless he had to. It was the police mentality. But it was also a generational thing. No one ever taught his generation to put on their own oxygen mask first. Nearly all cops are the same: they help others, all day every day, rarely looking within.

Movember is important to me because it encourages men to look within—to take care of ourselves (as well as the people around us). That the foundation focuses on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide, is fitting—these things affect a lot of us in the law enforcement community. Especially suicide. It’s a sad part of the job you never understand, and always wish you could prevent.

My father told me when I joined the police force: “you’re part of a brotherhood now. You’ll understand one day. It’s the greatest thing to be a part of. We take care of each other.” 15 years, and 3 precincts later…I see that he was right.

“My father didn’t talk about his health unless he had to. It was the police mentality. But it was also a generational thing.”

I’ve brought Movember with me to each precinct. The guys always get involved and make it great. I currently work in the 75th Precinct in East New York, Brooklyn. Saying it’s a busy area would be an understatement. The cops are absolutely second to none. They get more involved with Movember each year, and it means a lot to me. When my father passed away, they took care of me the way he would have taken care of his teams.

If you take anything from Movember let it be this: Take care of yourselves as much as you take care of others. Before it’s too late. You are important to someone